Thursday, November 21, 2019

Even If What We Considered Evil Was Handled Gently—

A priest writing in a pastoral bulletin gives us some thoughts on how to deal with what we consider evil.

He has 8 siblings who relate well with each other but recently he did quarrel, used some words that hurt and lost control of the situation. Thankfully all recently has returned to normal.

Because of what he experienced in the family his thoughts became clearer on the need for respect and courtesy in society and the many problems we face. Each person has their own solution. 

We can't say we are always right. Maturity is needed.  I am right and you are wrong and refuse to hear the other's opinion closes the conversation before it starts.

Koreans have a lot of passion and want to do the right thing so when they see injustice there is no compromise and mercy. As a result, overcome with emotion, we hear: "I die and you die" and are faced with a catastrophe.

We see this presently with the Japanese and Korean situation. We are far from united on the way to address the situation. This is true of the North-South problem also. We should be able to solve the problems between us but see flags of other countries in demonstrations.

Political strife between political parties is not a fight to the death. It is not a battle to annihilate the opponent. The same is true with the South's problems with North Korea. The situation of confrontation is correct, but it is a brother to be reconciled. Of course, a military is necessary. This is to prepare for the worst possible consequences of the opponent's misunderstanding of the situation.

It is necessary to take the time and not to react immediately to the criticism of the opponent. When Jesus quickly dismisses a gentile woman's request for help for a daughter and calls her a little dog and tells her it is not right to throw the children's bread to a dog, she makes light of the seeming abuse: "Yes. Lord, but even the dogs under the table eat the children's leftovers." A woman who knows humor. Jesus is amazed and revises what he previously said. Reprimands, accusations, and attacks do not change a person. For the truth to be heard by another, goodwill needs to be shown.

Nowadays we hear a lot of talk about taking legal action with opponents. Politics is the art of the possible. Instead of doing one's best it may be better to do the second-best thing. The other side also needs to breathe and use strength if we are going to have a healthy relationship.

If you call you opponents: idiots or stupid, Jesus says that you will be dragged to the central court and dropped into hell fire, so the best thing is to compromise quickly on the way to court. Extreme expressions, rude or abusive language, should be avoided. It's frightening to see the comments throw at the other camp. It's so easy to label the opposing faction with 'leftist' 'extreme right', 'bone pain', 'aborigines' and the like. Once you label others, you lose the power to think otherwise. Even with evil one needs to be gentle.

We need to learn how the profiler's technique opened the mouth of a serial killer. (A recent case where a prisoner who was in prison confessed to other murders which he had committed). They treated the prisoner warmly. "Did you have a meal?" They met with him nine times, he stared at the female investigator's hand and said, "Can I hold your hand?" The investigator then said, "Let's shake hands after the investigation." From then on, he began to open his mouth.

Jesus also talked to the devil. If we can only have warm conversations, we will be able to walk along with anyone and journey together toward the common good. We confess God as our Father. 'Our Party', 'Our Opposition', 'Our Neighbor Japan' and 'Our North Korean Brothers' all are possible. We need to embrace the heart of the Lord who embraces all in unity.

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